Sunday, 18 December 2016

Portland Fleece - Part II

I've thought about what I want to do with my Portland yarn.  I will dye the fingering weight yarn a different colour to the other 3 and the the 3 skeins of double-knit weight yarn will be used together on one project that I have already chosen, and so will dye these specific colours to be able to make that.

First up is the fingering weight yarn, which is 106g/369m.  I dyed this using Greener Shades dye at a dye depth of 1% in shade Sunrise Yellow.  A 1% dye depth means that you use 1g of dye for every 100g of yarn.


I had decided that I wanted to have a go at trying to obtain a set of peach yarns.  Peach can be a difficult colour to achieve, getting the tone right is a nightmare, nevermind having to try to get three different shades.  I was using my micro scales to weigh out the tiny tiny amounts of dye needed in the percentages of each colour required and a milk bottle screw top cap was "the bowl" to weigh the dye into.

This first yarn is 105g/300m, dyed using Greener Shades dye at a dye depth of 0.1%, made up of 75% Sunrise Yellow and 25% Sunset Orange.  A dye depth of 0.1% means that you use 0.1g of dye for every 100g of yarn and then this total amount of dye is split 75/25 between 2 colours.  Can you imagine weighing out 0.075g of dye and 0.025g of dye to make up that one-tenth of a gram of dye required!

This yarn is just as I had hoped for.


This yarn is 104g/317m, dyed using Greener Shades dyes at a dye dept of 0.2%, 75% Sunrise Yellow, 25% Sunset Orange.  Technically this is just a dark shade of the first yarn.  The colours and percentages used are exactly the same, its just the dye depth that is increased, which means that I use double the weight of dye for the same amount of yarn which produces as stronger/darker shade.   Not too bad, a tad orange, but maybe that was my dye weighing.  The micro scales that I have are not the best as a really really good accurate set cost a lot of money, which I hope one day I will be able to afford to get.


The final yarn in the set of three is 105g/296m and again dyed with Greener Shades dye at a dye depth of 0.2% made up of 75% Sunset Orange and 25% Ruby Red.  With hindsight I am thinking that instead of shifting dye colours and introducing Ruby Red that perhaps I should have just doubled the amounts of dye used on the previous 2 skeins again to make a 0.4% dye depth or even calculated for a 0.3% dye depth.  I am sure the contrast will work on my chosen project though.


 And finally a pretty photo to show all 3 colours off together.


Want to know how I made the yarn for this shawl?  Just click Portland Fleece Part I

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Portland Fleece - Part I

I brought a kilo of Portland fleece online from Farnell Farm in Kent back in July 2014.  Portland is one of the many breeds that are classed as a conservation breed where they were close to extinction but efforts have been made to dramatically increase numbers and save the breed.


They are a small breed and the fleece washes up to be a warm shade of white.  There can be red kemp in the britch area of the fleece, and I did encounter some.  Kemp is a very coarse hair like fibre that you really want to remove during the preparation process.  The photo below shows a couple of locks, with a small amount of "seconds" attached, so called because it is the very short fibres produced when the shears go over a sheep a second time, shortening the fleece that is remaining on the sheep, and some will inevitably stick to the fleece as it is removed.  These are easily removed by wool combs during the preparation for spinning.
 The photo above, on the left, shows a clump of washed fleece with lots of red kemp in it and the photo above on the right shows a washed lock and an unwashed lock of fleece.

At the time of spinning the yarn my camera had broken and I didn't have a decent camera on my smart phone and so, unfortunately, there are no photos of the wool being combed, or of the combed nests or even of the spun un-dyed yarns.

I can tell you though that from my unwashed fleece weighed 1086g and after washing and removing a small amount of coarse fibre, including the red kemp, I was left with 675g of clean fleece ready to be prepared.  After combing I was left with approximately 420g of nice, clean, soft fibre to spin.  I spun 2-ply as usual and made 4 skeins of yarn, one in a fingering weight and 3 in double knit weights.  I decided to dye the yarn and will cover this in Part II.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Baubles - November 2016

This will be the last and final post about baubles cos I don't know about you but I am getting a bit fed up of them now, despite how beautiful they are.  These are all of those that I made in November.

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage gold Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage blue in 3 shade of Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm red matt baubles with vintage bright green Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm bright red shiny baubles with vintage pale gold Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm dark red matt baubles with vintage pale gold Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm red glitter, shiny and matt baubles with vintage gold and silver Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm bright blue shiny baubles with white Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm blue matt baubles with vintage silver Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm pale blue matt and shiny baubles with vintage navy Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm champagne glitter, shiny and matt baubles with vintage brown Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm white glitter baubles with vintage silver Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with bold colours of vintage Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage bright green Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage silver Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage 3 shades of pink Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with white Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm white matt baubles with vintage black Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm white shiny baubles with vintage bright red Twilley's Goldfingering

Monday, 31 October 2016

Baubles - October 2016

I am enjoying making the baubles, seeing what colour combinations I can come up with.  Other than the first two sets made way back when I was figuring out sizing and designs, no two sets are the same colour combinations and if there are then different designs have been used  These are Octobers offerings with some unusual combinations just to be different to anything else out there.

80mm silver shiny baubles with vintage purple Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage purple Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm silver glitter, shiny and matt baubles with vintage pink Twilley's Goldfingering

 80mm silver glitter, shiny and matt baubles with vintage pale blue Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm red shiny baubles with vintage gold Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage lime Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm silver matt baubles with vintage blue Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm red glitter baubles with vintage black Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage burgundy Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm denim blue matt and  shiny baubles  with vintage silver Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage cerise pink Twilley's Goldfingering


Friday, 30 September 2016

Baubles - September 2016

Carrying on from my post in August about making Christmas Baubles, these are what I made in September.  There are quite a lot!

80mm cerise glitter baubles with vintage pink Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm gold, silver and dark gold smooth baubles with vintage Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm gold glitter baubles with vintage bronze Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm gold glitter baubles with vintage green Twilley's Goldfingering
 .
80mm gold  smooth and glitter baubles with vintage royal blue Twilley's Goldfingering
80mm glitter, shiny and matt gold baubles with vintage black/multi Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm gold shiny baubles with vintage burgundy Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm silver matt baubles with vintage bright red Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage bright red Twilley's Goldfingering

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Baubles - August 2016

A couple of years ago, when I was running my old business when I used to make tea cosies, hats, scarves, gloves etc I came up with the idea of crocheting designs over the top of plain baubles.  I started purchasing baubles when they were on discount immediately after Christmas and looking for the right threads to use with them.  I knew what I wanted to use and so started buying what I could find on Ebay and car boot sales etc.  This is how I have so much Twilley's Goldfingering in so many different colours.  I never did get round to actually making the baubles and so I decided that as the designs were going to be lace that they would actually fit in with my shop as a Christmas range.

I'm just going to put the photos of the finished items in the order that I made them as I didn't take any work-in-progress photos.  Smooth baubles can be slippery to work with, especially when you are trying to crochet closed the design around them as with most of the designs require the cover to be put onto the bauble at a certain point so that the design then closes in around the bauble as you work so it can no longer get in or out without undoing the design.  Glitter covered baubles are a nightmare in that the design can get hooked up on the glitter, making it difficult to pull it on over the bauble and you also get covered in glitter in doing so.  The upside of Glitter covered baubles is that the crochet generally clings to the bauble so as you work the bauble is not constantly trying to escape.

These are what I made in August 2016, with a few that I made earlier in the year when I was working out patterns and sizing.

60mm silver glitter baubles with vintage Twilley's Goldfingering

70mm silver glitter baubles with vintage Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage turquoise Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm green smooth and textured baubles with vintage green Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm brown glitter, smooth and textured baubles with vintage brown Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm blue smooth and textured baubles with vintage blue Twilley's Goldfingering
80mm gold, cerise and black glitter baubles with matching vintage Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm gold, cerise and black glitter baubles with vintage Twilley's Goldfingering
80mm soft pink baubles with vintage burgundy Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm lime green smooth and textured baubles with vintage black/bronze Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm silver matt baubles with vintage bold coloured Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm black glitter baubles with vintage pastel coloured Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm smooth duck egg baubles with white Twilley's Goldfingering
80mm textured duck egg baubles with white Twilley's Goldfingering

80mm cerise glitter baubles with vintage gold Twilley's Goldfingering